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Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Patients and Supporters, 

When I was diagnosed with a parotid tumor in 2016, I never imagined that I would one day create a nonprofit organization that was dedicated to this cause. I truly believe that sometimes in life, we are placed in certain circumstances in order to push us toward what we are supposed to do next. There is not a doubt in my mind that founding this organization was what I was meant do.

I have been humbled and inspired by hearing the stories of parotid patients around the world and by witnessing the strength, courage, and determination of patients who have battled this disease under extremely difficult circumstances and against all odds. It is my distinct honor and privilege to serve as the Executive Director for the Parotid Patient Project and to lead this amazing group of parotid warriors in the fight for more answers, more research, and better treatment options.

As a patient who has been through this process, I know how scary, stressful, and overwhelming this diagnosis, surgery, and treatment can seem. It is my sincere hope that we have created a website where those patients who feel lost and alone in this process can find information and support.

I want patients to know that the Parotid Patient Project is here with them every step of the way, and that we are going to do everything that we can to raise awareness and to raise funds for much needed medical research. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by talented and dedicated people, who believe in this cause as much as I do, and who have helped me build this organization from the ground up.  

I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Eric J. Moore, M.D., and Kerry D. Olsen, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic for their steadfast commitment to helping parotid patients and for volunteering their valuable time to review the website content for accuracy and completeness.

I would also like to recognize the hard work and dedication of the Parotid Patient Project Board of Directors. Their support and guidance have helped me transform this from an idea into a reality. They have been instrumental in helping me get the organization up and running, and I am grateful that each of these board members has agreed to join me in this project. I look forward to working alongside all of them as we continue to build this organization.

I also want to thank everyone who has believed in me and supported me along the way, especially my husband, family, and friends. I am deeply committed to this cause and will do everything in my power as Executive Director to accomplish the mission of this organization.

This is an incredible opportunity to bring patients, doctors, and researchers together to help make a difference in the diagnosis and treatment of parotid tumors. I am excited to see what the future holds for all of us.


Heidi Semann
Executive Director